November 22, 2006
To The Editor:
I am writing to thank a few dedicated members of our community for their help in my driver education classes. I always ask a few volunteers to visit my classroom to offer their expertise in educating my new drivers.
Leigh Clark is a traumatic brain injury survivor as the result of an automobile collision with a 17-year-old teen driver. Clark gives a compelling first hand account of what it is like to go through the horror of a serious traffic collision, and then the aftermath of living with a permanent brain injury. Some of the students remember when she had to leave Warren Elementary School to recover from her injuries, and it is obvious to them that serious injuries involving collisions can "last a lifetime."
Eileen Nooney is the service manager at Lewis Motors in Burlington. Having been in the car business for 25 years, she really knows her stuff as far as how a car works and how automobiles should be operated and maintained. Nooney is a very successful woman in a male dominated field which I also think is important for the students to realize. Plus, she always brings along cool door prizes!
Trooper Robert Halpen, a Fayston resident, has proven to be another excellent resource for my classes. We cover many topics, including the consequences for DWI violations, speeding, aggressive driving and the overall workings of law enforcement on the state's highways. It is always a full two hours of interesting questions submitted by the students and answered by "one who knows." This is a great way to meet a state trooper in a low stress situation and realize they are human, too -- out there looking after the public good.
Pam Cota is an employee of Paige & Campbell Insurance and has been in the insurance field for about 25 years. She is very helpful in bringing a dull topic to life and showing the teens that collisions and tickets effect their insurance premiums directly and stick with them for quite a while. We also get into the positive aspect of good grades and taking driver education to get discounts on premiums.
I would also like to thank all of you adult drivers out there for your care and patience as myself and Keith Mullins at Harwood work to educate and create safe teen drivers. I constantly stress "sharing the road" as we are all in this together! Hopefully, we adults are modeling safe and responsible driving habits, too.
As the challenges of winter driving approach, I wish you all happy and safe travel and remember to Buckle Up.